MEXICO CITY (CNS) — The archbishop of Acapulco called on organized crime to cease violence during Holy Week, when thousands of Mexicans descend on the seaside city for the Easter holidays.
“I am making a call to those causing violence that, if they are men of their word, they honor a truce during the entire period” of Holy Week, Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Acapulco told reporters March 13.
“Everyone, those that live in Guerrero (state) in Acapulco, including those causing this violence, all of us are aware of the importance that the tourist season has in Acapulco,” he said.
Acapulco, once fabled for nightlife and visiting Hollywood stars, has become notorious for crime and killings, which have increasingly crept into the tourist parts of the city — not just the periphery populated by maids, gardeners and others working in the tourist industry.
It draws few foreigners now, but still attracts tourists from Mexico City — five hours up the highway — especially during the Holy Week holidays, when Mexicans traditionally take holidays and public schools close for two weeks.
A nongovernment think tank, the Citizen Council for Security, ranked Acapulco third-most dangerous city in the world with a homicide rate of 104 per 100,000 residents — roughly five times the Mexican average. Merchants expressed such exacerbation with extortion payments that they demanded tax relief, saying they already paid informally to criminal groups, the newspaper Reforma reported.
The Archdiocese of Acapulco has put a priority on promoting peace and providing attention to victims of violence through a pilot program bishops hope to replicate in other Mexican dioceses.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: